I read Brad Warner’s new book and panted over it. It’s called Sex, Sin and Zen: A Buddhist Exploration of Sex from Celibacy to Polyamory and Everything in Between. If you’d like to have more ___ in your life, enter my giveaway of the book by leaving a message on this post.
Brad is very clever, but what matters more is that Brad is very clear. Clarity about ___, let alone clarity about the practice of Buddhism, is rare.
Nothing new can be said about sex, nor does it need to be said. The obsession with sex is just a placeholder for all ego-driven delusions about life and death. Everything we think and say about sex applies to any other delusion. If only I had more ___ I’d be satisfied. I need ___ right now or I’ll go crazy! If you really loved me, you’d give me ___. Everyone seems like they have better ___ than I do. I can’t live without ___!
I don’t know nearly as much about sex as Brad Warner does (like, what is polyamory?) but Brad knows his followers and reads their minds. What’s on their minds is “Sex sex sex!” From time to time, my readers think about sex as well, but what troubles them more often is something like this, “We’re out of Palmolive Antibacterial.”
The parts of the book about sex are intellectually arousing, like Celibacy and Polyamory (what IS polyamory, anyway?), but the parts of the book that are most satisfying are Everything in Between. He interjects brief interludes on commonly misunderstood Buddhist terms, such as suffering, desire, nonattachment, emptiness, compassion and karma. These teachings are usually only presented as ideological abstractions, but Warner puts them in the palm of your own hand, like real ___.
Let me say that I also respect and agree with Warner’s public takedown of the scheming teachers in my lineage, such as _____and ________. I also agree with his occasional dismissals of the gadflies in his own lineage, namely _____. I don’t have to say a word about them, because naked lust and ego are always obvious to everyone. I can focus on my own practice instead.
That’s all we ever need to do: focus on our own practice. So I’ll call Warner out on the jabs he makes about koan practice. No one should talk about anything with which they have no experience. Don’t take Brad’s word on koans, and don’t take my word on polyamory. Don’t take anyone’s words as a substitute for ___.
Enough about ___. Fill in the blank below for a chance to win the book.
It’s giveaway week! I’ll be giving away books on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Check back and enter often. Winners for all three drawn next Sunday, Sept. 12.